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Agile localization

Consumers are an impatient lot. They want everything done yesterday, and are so used to having everything at their fingertips. The problem with this kind of mentality is that we, as service providers, are constantly having to innovate to shorten delivery times without compromising on quality. For translation and localization, that’s pretty challenging, which is why agile localization might just be the answer to all our problems!

What is agile localization?

As with any kind of agile service, agile localization is taking traditional localization and stripping down the workflows and incorporating them into an agile product development cycle. Workflows need to be fast, adaptable and automated so that they can ensure that the time to market is as fast as it possibly can be. 

How is agile localization achieved?

In order to reap all the benefits agile localization has to give, it’s vital that you try and integrate localization into your workflows as soon as possible. However, from then on, it’s all about your needs. Every company is different and has their own individual workflows, depending on your product and release dates.

Now, we’ll take a look at a number of different best practices that you can implement. Remember, though, there’s no right and wrong way to picking and choosing what you implement, so go with the flow and make sure you find a solution that suits you!

Tip 1 – prepare for agile localization from the very start

As we mentioned before, the earlier you integrate your agile localization process, the better. You’ll need all hands on deck making sure internal and external localization managers are working together, and that they’re in close contact with developers, testers, and everyone else involved in the development process.

Tip 2 – be prepared to localize

Localization is something that you have to prepare for from the get-go. You need to make sure that you’re ready to test linguistically throughout the development process, plus it’ll help make sure that your product is ready for different locales. Different things resonate with different cultures, and that’s something you have to keep in mind.

Tip 3 – partnerships will make all the difference

When you’re dealing with localization, having partners you can rely on is going to make a real difference. That said, make sure you try and keep partnerships to a minimum so that you don’t spend too much time coordinating massive teams of people. Your localization partner should also understand the development process so that they can speak on a professional level with your developers.

Tip 4 – use translation memories and termbases

TMs and termbases are there for a reason. They help companies keep terminology consistent, and ensure styles are unified across languages. Software and the like have to be user-friendly, and this kind of translation expertise can ensure that your users are going to have an optimal experience.

Tip 5 – automate as much as possible

It’s always manual work that bogs down processes, which is why automation is key when it comes to agile localization. With the technological advances that have reached our industry, you can now automate much of the translation process, getting rid of all those man-hours handling different aspects of your projects.

Tip 6 – translate as much as possible

Rather than translating in one go, try and translate as regularly as possible. This will reduce the need to rush projects and risk deadlines not being met because translation’s been left until the last minute. It’s easy to use things like CMS connectors to ensure that all content (not just the product you’re developing) is translated quickly, which in turn will help improve your time to market.

Tip 7 – done is when your product is shippable

One mistake that many companies make is that they assume done is when all of the words are translated. Agile localization includes things like testing, which is why it’s important to know that localization should be seen through to the very end, and only stopped once your product is shipped and adapted to all the locales you need.

We hope we’ve shed a light into the world of agile localization! If you have a product you’re developing and would like some help going global, please get in touch. Our team are here to help.

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